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Fox Traveller re-branded as Fox Life
MUMBAI: In order to expand its vision and explore the new, Fox International Channels (FIC) India has re-branded its lifestyle channel Fox Traveller as Fox Life.
Speaking to Televisionpost.com, NGC and FIC India MD Keertan Adyanthaya said that the broadcaster had thought about this move six months back. “We wanted to expand our horizons and offer new things. Fox Traveller has been doing well and we wanted to take things to the next level. So we brought in the change on 15 June.”
Talking about the state of the lifestyle genre, NGC and FIC India VP marketing, communication Debarpita Banerjee said that the channel and genre are both on a very healthy experimenting and growing phase. “Especially with digitisation, more and more people are discovering the easy-to-like content such as travel, food and fashion. We are very confident that this growth is only going to get better down the years.”
Strong brand perception
The broadcaster is in good financial health and the brand perception is also strong. “We have a brand track that has given useful insights into the entire genre. However, TAM ratings are the biggest data that the industry refers to. And the fact that the channel has been the undisputed leader this year clearly says how the viewers perceive the channel,” said Banerjee.
There is a wide pool of advertisers for the channel. “In FY14, we have had over 50 new advertisers. Economic slowdown usually does not tend to affect focus genres such as travel and lifestyle,” she said.
The content front
In terms of content, Banerjee conceded that food works well for the lifestyle genre. “Food, if done well, works very well in the genre. Some of our top shows have been food shows like ‘Food Safari’, ‘Street Foods Around the World’, ‘Eat Street’, etc. One of our most successful local productions, ‘Twist of Taste’, is also going into its fourth season. We will continue to keep investing in differentiated food shows through this year.”
Adyanthaya noted that the aim is to have a balance between different kinds of shows. “Food is one of the sub genres within lifestyle that we focus on.”
The strongest viewership markets for the genre is the four metros. “Now with digitisation in progress, we expect 1 million plus towns to start tuning in more often,” said Banerjee.
Moreover, the post-11 pm and early evening (6-8 pm) slots are showing consistency. “Both slots have been consistent since last year. The endeavour will always be to try and get more people on to the extended primetime bands. For example, we have created a special band at 11 pm, with shows that showcase the party and nightlife across many famous destinations across the world.”
To go along with the re-branding, a marketing campaign called ‘Fox Life – Go Places’ has also been launched. Earlier, the theme of Fox Traveller was ‘This journey is fun’. For Banerjee, the new campaign and tagline extend the earlier brand philosophy.
“We took about a month and a half to finalise the refresh elements. Fox Traveller firmly believed that journeys were equally important as destinations, hence every communication signed off as ‘This journey is fun’.
“‘Go Places’ is but a natural extension of this philosophy, recognising the fact that life should be best lived as a string of never-ending interesting journeys that takes you places,” she added.
A string of interesting journeys
Elaborating on the channel’s philosophy, she said that it does not have a brand ambassador. “We have a campaign running parallel that showcases the primetime shows that live up to this philosophy. Each of our shows has so many talented faces that we let them do the talking, which is why we haven’t roped in a brand ambassador. However, the very talented Konkona has narrated our philosophy campaign, giving it a deeper meaning and connect.”
When asked about the marketing expenses, she noted that the network is their strength. “Our next biggest strength is online. We have a huge fan base that interacts on our social network pages regularly, and we will continue to engage with them at higher decibels after the the re-launch.”
Connection is all
With regard to the aim of the campaign, Banerjee explained that while broad basing the audience will always be the agenda in this genre, the first and foremost aim of this campaign was to connect with viewers in the way Fox Traveller always did—‘Honestly and inspiringly.’”
Earlier this year, the broadcaster had brought down Italian chef David Rocco for a show. The channel is now celebrating its transition.
“To begin with, very soon we will be celebrating transition of Fox Traveller to Fox Life, in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. At these events, one would get to meet our key channel talents like Vikas Khanna, Kirat Bhattal, Shibani Dandekar, Purab Kohli, to name a few. Talents from shows like ‘Soundtrek’, designers from ‘Style and the City’, and international talents like Patrick and Kylie from the show ‘When Patrick Met Kylie’ will also be there. Guests will get to live the Fox Life for an evening.”
Down the line there will be many such experiences for associates, advertisers, affiliates and the core viewers. In terms of the amount of local content, she said that as of now, the broadcaster has plans for more or less equal number of hours.
Asked about what factors are looked at before giving the local show the go-ahead, Banerjee said that the concept needs to fit into the channel philosophy, have viewer connect and give a fresh perspective. “Most of our local shows have already been aired for at least one season and successfully brought into its next.” She also added that it is easier to do localisation for lifestyle than for infotainment as the turnaround is faster.
In the lead up to the re-branding exercise, the channel did a fair bit of experimentation on the content side. One of the things that it did was to air ‘The Walking Dead’ late at night. “We aired it to experiment and rouse things up. Even without trying to compete with English GECs, we are ahead of the entire English entertainment genre. Thus, competition is not our motif behind any experiment we do.”
The digital push
Banerjee said that in terms of marketing activities on the digital front, the channel is focusing its spread on social media so as to be able to actively engage with the viewers. “We do upload snippets of our shows as well as long promos to give the fans a pre-look.”